Bar-hopping isn’t all about la Parte Vieja, a.k.a. San Sebastian’s old town that quite possibly contains the densest concentration of pintxos bars on earth. Gros, the neighborhood across the Urumea River that’s accessible by numerous bridges (it’s not an undertaking like crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on foot) is a little lower key.
The Kursaal, a glowing auditorium, was on the Gros side, directly across the river from our apartment. I’d wanted to eat at the restaurant inside, Ni Neu, but it was closed the nights I had free eating time available (that sounds so creepy and regimented).
Nearly all newcomers (and likely, regulars too) order the volcán de morcilla. Yes, that would a blood sausage volcano. Instead of molten lava, the dark mountain of meat cut with rice, raisins and peppers is spouting a raw egg yolk sprinkled with salt. Add a swipe of apple puree and you have one complex, fun-to-eat pintxo.
Here, four rare slices of steak covered in potato crisps are served with “fondue” of naturally ripe and runny Torta del Casar. Earlier, we had been discussing how you might eat a plate of charcuterie or cheese, but you rarely see meat and dairy combined in a dish. This was as close as we would get to our dream Spanish cheesesteak.
Hidalgo 56 * Paseo Colon, 15, San Sebastián, Spain